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Vaccines should be given to everyone, regardless of status

We’re scratching our heads over this one.

A bill co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer; Mike Kelly, R-Butler; and Nancy Mace, R-South Carolina, would prioritize Americans ahead of illegal immigrants for COVID-19 vaccines.

On the surface, yeah, sure, make sure Americans get it first. We paid for it, after all.

The problem is, not all Americans plan to get the vaccine, an unfortunate fact for the vast majority that want to find protection from the pandemic and a way back to something we remember as “normal.”

Say you are among the group that is reluctant right now to get the vaccine. We’ve seen reports in the past two weeks that show the vaccination rate to be slowing not just locally but nationwide.

Choosing to forego the vaccine, do you really want to go about your business out in the public realm, not knowing if you’ll be in proximity to an illegal immigrant, and that person could not get vaccinated but could get COVID?

Next thing you know, you’re fighting through the illness yourself. Perhaps you are one of the unlucky ones who end up hospitalized.

Maybe you didn’t want the shot, but don’t you want others around you to have been given it, regardless of their citizenship status?

Isn’t providing shots for all a form of protecting the greater good, and isn’t the provision of vaccines to anyone willing to roll up their sleeve a small price to pay for the overall health of the American people?

Asked if it might be best to vaccinate as many people as possible, whether they are citizens or not, Keller said people should not be encouraged to enter the United States illegally.

We agree with that sentiment, but we also must acknowledge that we have long been confronted by illegal immigrants — they can be found in every state in the nation.

We also do not believe the problem at our southern border was motivated by a drive to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine.

If that were the case, why do the illegal immigrants stay once inside our nation?

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